Education

Montessori classroom: a non-traditional education approach

Updated: 2014-08-12
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share



International Sunshine Home is an example of a school riding the wave of a demand for nontraditional bilingual education in Xiamen and in China
   
First-time visitors to a Montessori classroom are often surprised to find children studying different topics in the same room at the same time. Individual students focus on subjects like language, math or geography while the teacher circulates through the room, giving one-on-one instruction by turns.

It is an unusual educational approach to kindergarten - and is becoming more popular than ever in China. The Montessori method is gaining popularity as parents search for an education that is not simply prescriptive and that challenges children to be more creative and self-disciplined.

International Sunshine Home is an example of a school riding the wave of a demand for nontraditional bilingual education in Xiamen and in China.

"Pressure on children to excel in China is higher than ever before, pushing parents to adapt even more intensive programs for their children”, said Sunshine Home co-founder David Powell. “It’s an understandable dynamic given China’s population and economy, but a school that balances these demands with attention to the holistic needs of children can play a valuable role in a child’s development.”

Other schools in the city that are turning Western teaching methods like Montessori to provide a balanced education include the Family Learning House and Qihui. Western-influenced schools often tend to include at least some bilingual learning in their curriculum to expose their children to the larger world in which they live.

Maria Montessori was an early 20th-century doctor who studied the way children learn in a natural environment, not in a traditional classroom. She created a teaching method that focuses on how children learn most effectively based on her insight that a self-motivated student will learn and retain more information.

Her method has been developed and refined over time. It is now an internationally recognized approach to teaching. The key elements of the Montessori method include: 
 
- Allowing the child to choose their focus or interest;
- Using all the physical sense to make abstract ideas real and physical;
- Having the teacher track a child’s interests and progress over time;
- Modeling proper behavior and grace by the teacher; and
- Teaching self-control rather than imposing discipline.
 
Parents can easily include elements of Montessori method in their home. Simple adjustments like giving a child a series of shelves for their toys at their eye level require minimal changes. Children can also gain a sense of value by helping at home: cutting vegetables for dinner with mom or helping dad with dusting can give children a genuine feeling of ownership and participation.

Families choosing non-traditional schools frequently have grandparents who worry that their grandchildren will not be ready to adapt to more traditional grade schools after kindergarten. “A Montessori student entering first grade is more likely than other students to be self-disciplined, so it’s certainly possible they will be annoyed by their unruly peers,” said David Powell. “They will have to adjust to a more traditional approach if they enter a Chinese school but that is no reason to deny the best opportunity to grow and learn until they need to enter first grade.”

But growing numbers of parents are uncomfortable with mainstream education in which teachers face untenably large classes, children focus on exams and homework, and competition is the driving impulse of school.

Montessori’s emphasis on play, games and arts and crafts use a child’s natural interests to make education a pleasant experience. The guiding principle is that a motivated child is more likely to learn and retain information than a disinterested child. 
    
International Sunshine Home  
 
- Ruijing branch
Add: No. 25-1, Hongwen Yili, Siming District, Xiamen (Near the west gate of Ruijing Xincun Residential Community)
Tel: 0592-5995383
 
- Huizhan branch
Add: No. 86, Huizhan Nan San Road, Siming District, Xiamen
Tel: 0592-5984387 
 
SOURCE: International Sunshine Home
 
Editorial Message
This site contains materials from other clearly stated media sources for the purpose of discussion stimulation and content enrichment among our members only. 
whatsonxiamen.com does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact
 editor@whatsonxiamen.com
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Comments Area ( Total Comments: 1 )
gabrielxiamen commented on 12 Dec 2016
They're only way of contact it's a phone number which I just called and nobody can speak English on the phone, what's the point of printing on an English website...?
  

Pre & Primary School

Concordia Xiamen offers new international education option
Concordia Xiamen offers new international education option
  Concordia International School Xiamen (CISX) is incorporated by Concordia International School Hong Kong, wh...
Sunshine Home: a bilingual Montessori school
Sunshine Home: a bilingual Montessori school
  International Sunshine Home, which is often cited as Xiamen's premier bilingual school for younger children,...
Logic puzzle from Chinese primary school exam stumps adults
Logic puzzle from Chinese primary school exam stumps adults
Brain teaser: This logic problem from a Hong Kong elementary school entrance exam has become a viral sensation, leavin...
China bans schools from reducing sports activities
China bans schools from reducing sports activities
     The Ministry of Education has taken steps to ensure students' safety during sports lesson, but re...